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  1. 17 Mar '07 19:06
    What do you guys think is more beneficial to the 1200-2000 rated player, opening specialization or opening variety? There are plenty of supporters for both sides, Fischer virtually played the same openings every time - KID, Najdorf, and 1.e4 with the Ruy/Open Sicilian and mainlines of the Caro-Kann/French. On the other hand many modern top players play a huge array of openings. Of course, the players on this website aren't at that level. Most sources recommend sticking with just 3 openings for an entire year - and studying the hell out of those openings. I've done that with the KG for nearly a year now, with only the occasional game with a Ruy Lopez or something completely different. As black, though, I've got a pretty large variety - mostly the Dragon against 1.e4, but I've played some Alekhines, Scandis, and Pircs. Against 1.d4 I've played basically everything. I personally think the best way to learn openings is to specialize in one for a few months, and then expand on it - while still using it. Do you guys agree or disagree with this sentiment?
  2. Standard member bannedplayer306509
    Best Loser
    17 Mar '07 19:08
    i figure that any opening could and should be played perfectly on rhp.. they have databases for that.

    Variety is always fun.
  3. 17 Mar '07 19:11
    Originally posted by ih8sens
    i figure that any opening could and should be played perfectly on rhp.. they have databases for that.

    Variety is always fun.
    Sorry, I should have clarified - I meant for use OTB or on PC.
  4. 17 Mar '07 19:13
    i say that since i've learned openings for my style i'm content. when i find something i dont like i will just learn to play lines that avoid certain games. play openings for your style. i like to keep it narrow with what i play so i can get really good at those lines. when i get bored with them or something crosses my path that i hate i'll just find an opening that will avoid it. its all about preference.
  5. Standard member bannedplayer306509
    Best Loser
    17 Mar '07 19:13
    oh.. ok then for me it's d4 and e4 ...
  6. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    17 Mar '07 19:22
    I'm taking a couple of openings at a time, play them for a few months maybe half a year, then move on. just to get some superficial familiarity to them. at some point I'll start a second round, pick the openings I'd really like to know, and only then go deep.
  7. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    17 Mar '07 19:24
    I feel that with white you can experiment - the opening advantage cushions you from the worst problems that misplaying an opening is going to cause. With black it's better to stick to a few openings, in general black is defending and defending is harder, so you want to be on familiar ground.
  8. 17 Mar '07 19:26
    Originally posted by wormwood
    I'm taking a couple of openings at a time, play them for a few months maybe half a year, then move on. just to get some superficial familiarity to them. at some point I'll start a second round, pick the openings I'd really like to know, and only then go deep.
    Hm, why would you move on from an opening that you already know though? Why not just add on to it?
  9. 17 Mar '07 19:28
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    I feel that with white you can experiment - the opening advantage cushions you from the worst problems that misplaying an opening is going to cause. With black it's better to stick to a few openings, in general black is defending and defending is harder, so you want to be on familiar ground.
    This is true, but I find that at the amateur level there are so many players that don't bother to study up on uncommon black responses. For example as black I primarily play the Dragon - and even people that play Open Sicilians leave book fast in it. An even more extreme example are games where I use the Pirc as black, white seems to be completely confused and guessing at moves - generally making less than accurate moves.
  10. Standard member Yuga
    Renaissance
    17 Mar '07 19:29
    Originally posted by cmsMaster
    What do you guys think is more beneficial to the 1200-2000 rated player, opening specialization or opening variety? There are plenty of supporters for both sides, Fischer virtually played the same openings every time - KID, Najdorf, and 1.e4 with the Ruy/Open Sicilian and mainlines of the Caro-Kann/French. On the other hand many modern top players play a ...[text shortened]... en expand on it - while still using it. Do you guys agree or disagree with this sentiment?
    Specialize. I recently experimented by playing numerous 5 0 games against Fritz in its highest setting and using the same openings over and over (Schevenigen and KID) until I was able equalize against Fritz out of the opening. Of course I was pummeled initially, but by doing postgame analysis, I was able to find mistakes in my openings and fix them, and improve in later games.

    Humans won't play openings as well as Fritz, so you have to come to know what to do take advantage of an inferior move.

    Better to completely master a few openings then know the ideas of all the openings and play them inaccurately.
  11. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    17 Mar '07 20:02
    Originally posted by cmsMaster
    This is true, but I find that at the amateur level there are so many players that don't bother to study up on uncommon black responses. For example as black I primarily play the Dragon - and even people that play Open Sicilians leave book fast in it. An even more extreme example are games where I use the Pirc as black, white seems to be completely confused and guessing at moves - generally making less than accurate moves.
    This is true - but there's a phenomenal amount of theory associated with the Dragon, so the odds are that your opponent is not going to have time for it. With the Pirc it's a fairly obscure opening, I know one person who plays it, OTB I'll try to transpose into the King's Indian (where I'm reasonably comfortable), the problem for most people is that it's rare, occuring in 4% of games on my database, so it's really not worth the effort of putting much work into as you'll only see it one in every forty games (assuming you play half your games as black).

    Partly through playing here, and partly anyway, I'm an openings specialist. OTB I've found that most people leave the book early and don't really get it right, which is more of a problem when you are playing black than when you're playing white - as most defences are designed to equalize - so it can be quite difficult to know what to do with the position once white's squandered a few tempi when you are set up for a solid defence and find yourself with the initiative. Having lots of experience with the opening helps then. As white when your opponent starts to misplay it it is a lot easier as all it does is make your game easier.

    I don't think there's a definitive answer to this, we could argue back and forth all day. On the whole I think it depends on your opponent. If you think that they are liable to know their stuff, play your main opening, if you think they have a weakness in some line or other then go for that.
  12. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    17 Mar '07 21:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by cmsMaster
    Hm, why would you move on from an opening that you already know though? Why not just add on to it?
    well, you'll face everything at some point, so it's practical to have some familiarity with all openings. and you can't get that without moving on. another point is you won't know what you like until you've tried them out.

    sort of like selecting 'candidate openings'.

    obviously you'll gain more short term benefit by spesializing from the beginning, but I view the thing more as a question of craftsmanship than anything else. just like I'm learning endgames even though I hardly ever get any at this point.
  13. Standard member najdorfslayer
    The Ever Living
    17 Mar '07 22:03
    The problem with playing the same opening all the time for me is simply I get bored.
    OTB I play 1.e4 and 1.d4 with equal regularity.....I also play Najdorf Sicilian, Classical Sicilian, Scheveningen Sicilian and 1...e5 ith 2...Nc6 and am very comfortable playing all these lines. Although I have only played 1...e5 on this site so far (I'm new only 8 Black games).................I have played everything against 1.d4 (KID, QID, NID, Grunfeld, Dutch, QGD, QGA, Benoni, Semi-Slav) and have still never found a reply I am happy with would welcome some suggestions.......(I am an OTB 1800 player too you would have though I would have fund something I was happy with but I always find some problem with each defence!!!!!)
  14. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    17 Mar '07 22:41
    Originally posted by najdorfslayer
    The problem with playing the same opening all the time for me is simply I get bored.
    OTB I play 1.e4 and 1.d4 with equal regularity.....I also play Najdorf Sicilian, Classical Sicilian, Scheveningen Sicilian and 1...e5 ith 2...Nc6 and am very comfortable playing all these lines. Although I have only played 1...e5 on this site so far (I'm new only 8 Bl ...[text shortened]... uld have fund something I was happy with but I always find some problem with each defence!!!!!)
    Given the extensiveness of your list of defences against 1. d4 it's difficult to suggest anything else. I like the Classical Dutch, but it's not to everyone's taste. Maybe what you need to do after someone plays 1. d4 is to just play, using your previous experience with all the lines you've given as a way of jumping into whatever the most awkward is for your opponent. Speaking personally I'll do more or less anything rather than face the Nimzo-Indian so maybe that is the move you should choose.
  15. Standard member najdorfslayer
    The Ever Living
    17 Mar '07 23:17
    Cheers Bruce..........NID I actually really like but when I play in my League OTB games I seen to get 3...Nf3 4 times out of 5.....maybe should go back to really studying the NID/QID complex!!